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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – May 15, 2023 – Five trials for the Grade 2, $268,750 Heritage Place Derby were run at Remington Park on Saturday night and it wasn’t enough to establish one horse as the fastest qualifier.

The winner of this year’s Remington Park Derby – Hooked N Gone – and the winner of last year’s $283,257 Black Gold Futurity Championship for colts and geldings at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla. – Sir James – tied with the fastest time in these trials. They both stopped the timer in :19.457 seconds for 400 yards over a sloppy track, earning identical 99 speed indexes. The two of them had a slightly faster time than last year’s $1 million Rainbow Futurity winner – Eye On the Card, who won his trial, but was eight-thousandths of a second slower than the two ahead of him.

Hooked N Gone put the time up first in the second trial of the night, and in the process, defeated this year’s $183,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Take a Swig of This and last year’s $1.1 million Heritage Place Futurity winner Tres Crystals. Take a Swig of this checked in third and Tres Crystals was fourth in this heat. Finishing ahead of those two was runner-up Everythingyouneed, who had run third, beaten only a neck last year as the even-money favorite in the $525,000 Louisiana Quarter Horse Association Sales Futurity at Delta Downs in the mud.

With the sloppy track Saturday night at Remington, the betting public still allowed Everythingyouneed get away at 14-1 odds. He wound up being the fourth-fastest horse in these trials behind Hooked N Gone, Sir James and Eye of the Card. Everythingyouneed only lost his trial to Hooked N Gone by a neck. This Heritage Place Derby final is shaping up to be one of the most contentious in history. The final trial of the night knocked Tres Crystals off the bubble and out of the final.

Hooked N Gone won the Remington Park Derby by a half-length on April 22 despite breaking poorly from the gate. His trainer could barely watch the replay because he gets so frustrated when the 3-year-old gelded son of PYC Paint Your Wagon dilly dallies his way at the beginning of races.

“You can watch (the replay); I just can’t,” Ibarra said after the Remington Park Derby.

Jockey Cristian Esqueda was aboard for both the RP Derby win and the Heritage Place Derby trial win. Regina Laymon owns the horse and bred him in Oklahoma and now has a horse that will go into the Heritage Place Derby finals as one of the favorites. His record going into the HP Derby is 10 starts, four wins and four seconds for $237,918 in earnings.

Jockey Roman Cruz was in the saddle for Sir James in the Black Gold and in these trials. Trainer Luis Villafranco conditions this 3-year-old colt by Coronado Cartel for owner Ellen Kennedy Racing (Allen Kennedy) of Owasso, Okla.

Sir James’ record going into the HP Derby finals is 10 starts, five wins, one second and two thirds for a bankroll of $170,103. Eye On the Card, less than a wink of the eye from being the top qualifier, will enter closing day with a record of eight starts, six wins, one second and one third for earnings of $609,345. The 3-ear-old colt by Docs Best Card, is trained by Monty Arrossa, ridden by Francisco Calderon and owned by Omar Hernandez and Taos River Ranch of Purcell, Okla. He was bred in Oklahoma by Efrain Mendez. On July 24 last year, Eye On the Card went off at 6-1 odds in the Rainbow Futurity and won that leg of the 2-year-old Quarter Horse Triple Crown at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. Prior to that, he ran third, beaten only a half-length in last year’s $974,000 Remington Park Futurity.

The top 10 fastest times qualified tonight for the finals of the Grade 2, $268,750 Heritage Place Derby for 3-year-old Quarter Horses covering 400 yards on closing day Saturday, June 3. Here they are with times, speed index, jockey, trainer and trial number (race number):

  1. Hooked N Gone, :19.457, 99, Cristian Esqueda, Victor Ibarra, trial two (race five)
  2. Sir James, :19.457, 99, Roman Cruz, Luis Villafranco, trial three (race six)
  3. Eye On the Card, :19.465, 99, Francisco Calderon, Monty Arrossa, trial four (race seven)
  4. Everythingyouneed, :19.504, 98, Mario Delgado, Tony Sedillo, trial two (race five)
  5. Tyger King, :19.577, 96, Raul Valenzuela, Cody Noel, trial one (race four)
  6. King of Woodbridge, :19.598, 96, Roman Cruz, Jose Huerta, trial five (race seven)
  7. Take a Swig of This, :19.608, 96, Francisco Calderon, Monty Arrossa, trial two (race five)
  8. War Admiral, :19.627, 95, Bryan Candanosa, Juan Vazquez, trial four, (race eight)
  9. Tha Duke, :19.637, 95, Ricky Ramirez, Raul Rodriguez, trial five, (race seven)
  10. FDD Cloud, :19.687, 94, Jorge Torres, Clinton Crawford, trial three (race six)

Remington Park racing continues Sunday and Monday, May 14 & 15. Sunday racing starts at 4pm and features five trials for the $270,300 Heritage Place Oaks. Monday racing begins at 12:30pm with 12 trials for the $1,207,640 Heritage Place Futurity. All times Central.

Tracked by more than 175,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $320 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park features the 2023 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season through June 3. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.